Declan Rice and Chelsea, a story that provides a fine example of how modern football operates at the very top.
Chelsea had Rice at academy level, but he was never deemed good enough. He got a chance at West Ham and took it with both hands. Fast forward to now and he is a regular for England and West Ham, and his former club Chelsea are part of a long list of top clubs including Manchester City who are trying to sign Rice for a rumoured fee of around £100m. Pure madness.
But, that’s the way it often goes at this level. Rice was a later bloomer to be honest and he has really come of age this season. He’s turned into the complete midfielder and one of the best around; you only have to look at his long list of admirers that include Thomas Tuchel and Pep Guardiola to realise this.
But, if Chelsea are to bring Rice back to Stamford Bridge and give him another shot at making it at the club, they are going to have to do this now and they are going to have to lay the cash down. Because if they don’t, then someone else will, namely one of the Manchester clubs.
West Ham are going to find it increasingly harder to now keep hold of Rice, who has openly admitted he wants to play at a club who are challenging for all trophies available, and that isn’t West Ham. So, this summer could be huge in terms of big decisions for Rice and for the clubs pursuing him, including Chelsea.
It really does feel like it will be now or never for Chelsea and if they don’t match offers on the table and give Rice a choice, I think he will end up going to Manchester City. IF he has the choice though, to come back to the club he supported as a child and had a season ticket at, then he comes back to Chelsea I have no doubts.
So, it is almost now got to the point where Chelsea have no choice. IF they really want to sign Rice then they simply must put the money up for him and it will have to be this summer, otherwise they could end up losing him to a rival.
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